InOutDoor House Highland Park
Designer Benjamin Page blurs the line between indoor and outdoor space, from which emerges a versatile living area, complete with a 10-foot glass and concrete linear fire pit, complemented by the view and greenery of Mt. Washington.
Originally purchased in near-teardown condition, with only 600 sq ft of interior space, the 2,215 sq ft lot contained several crumbling, disjointed patio spaces. Mr. Page sought to forgo the cost of a structural addition, instead integrating all the fragmented exterior spaces, merging and blending them into an extension of the interior space. The renovation pays respect to the structure's original 1920s architecture; only one doorway in the interior was removed, in order to add 7 feet to the kitchen. A glass garage door is installed at one end of the living room, not only to highlight the view of the nearby hillsides and nature, but to invite dwellers to come outside and become part of the living landscape. A sculpted concrete bookcase/seating area leads to the newly expanded outdoor living and conversation space, where family gatherings becomes the main attraction in this rapidly gentrifying neighborhood of the Highland Park district of Los Angeles.
The interior’s open living area floor plan, together with the newly integrated outdoor living spaces, make the previously enclosed space seem larger, lighter and more open. The bedrooms lie on either side of the living room, resulting in an undisturbed flow through this new indoor/outdoor space. A row of linear wall cabinets accentuates depth, rather than closing off the space with more typical floor-to-ceiling cabinetry. The generously sized spa bathroom has 2 individual sinks, bidet, toilet, jet tub and European fixtures. Blue glass wall tiles complement the classic white ceramic hexagonal tiles, with natural pea-pebble borders. The master bedroom’s closet was opened up and reframed, and its fixtures complete the look and feel of a fashion retail display, where nothing hides behind closet doors. The smaller bedroom’s recycled wood and glass closet door evokes the drama between modern and antiquity. The room opens up to a small, private back patio framed by live bamboo plants.
A complete outdoor kitchen is situated at the bottom of a row of cascading planters filled with fresh herbs and vegetables; everything a cook needs to prepare a gourmet meal for friends and family. Dine under the stars or beneath the pergola on the redwood deck, while listing to a bubbling water fountain. Attention to detail prevails throughout the project, with recycled material used wherever possible, from the sliced tree trunk stepping-disks in the parking area, to the wood and glass privacy screen found at a used building material store. Other upgrades include a finished bonus room, now fitted to be used as a laundry and office space, while a love seat swings from the home’s sculptural pine tree. The custom-designed graphic outdoor wall mural and architectural-patterned natural wood fence and wall accents add to the uniqueness of this one-of-a-kind property.